Every kid we knew in Singapore and Malaya in the 1960s watched Samurai and most had a go at making Ninja stars. Coke tins back then weren't made of thin aluminium and you had to be bodybuilder to squash one. Because of this, many of the cans were rolled out and used again in things like toy tin cars and robots. They also made the ideal material for making Ninja stars. I remember making some hopeless ones out of a toothpaste tube (even they were more sturdier than they are today) but I think that Alan made some out of old Coke tins (although maybe my memory is playing tricks on me because I always remember Coke and 7-Up coming in glass bottles).
I think that I remember sitting in the garden throwing the five-pointed stars at the old wooden packing crates that lay in the garden left over from us building a den out of them. Other people have certainly written to me saying that they did exactly the same thing and some of the stars sounded quite deadly. I never heard of anyone ending up in hospital because of one but it must have happened. I wonder what Koichi Ose who played Shintaro Akikusa would make of it all today.
It was reported that he died a few years ago but apparently, he's alive and well and living in Japan and here's a photo of him appearing on tv very recently. He hasn't changed much, has he?